Thread: Rangers top 20
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09-15-2005, 07:43 PM
Kevin Forbes
Hockey's Future Staff
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Nova Scotia
Country: Canada
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Originally Posted by ATLANTARANGER
I would however make note of the tendency to rate recently drafted players ahead of other players who are more advanced in their development. Staal and Sauer were certainly nice additions, but they are at least 2-3 years away. By the time they are ready players like Baranka, Liffiton, Kondratiev, Taylor, Guenin, Lampman will have had the opportunity to establish themselves at NHL or career minor leaguers. Potential is one thing, but unless the player is a flat out sure fire, can't miss prospect, there is no way they jump ahead of players within an organizations talent pool.

I think a more appropiate listing would be to tier players, i.e. those ready to make the jump from minor leagues to NHL, those ready to make the jump from college to the minor leagues, etc. Certainly within that framework there would be Jr & college players who have the opportunity and shown the potential to make the jump straight to the NHL. I think your letter system may be of more value their in that it would be a greater reflection on their potential.
HF rates player not on how close they are to making it to the NHL, but what we invision the type of player they'll be at the end of the journey and how likely it is that they will be that type of player. The potential of a 2005 first round draft pick could be just as comparable to the potential of a 2003 first round draft pick. Is the 2003 player farther along in his development? For the organization's sake, one would hope so. But that's not what we are trying to track. If I were building a team right now, and I had one year to make the team the best as possible and I had to choose between Kondratiev and Staal for my blue line, I wouldn't hesitate before taking Kondratiev. That being said, Staal's upside is superior, which means, if all goes well, when Staal is playing at his peak, the best he will ever be, he's going to be a better player then Kondratiev when Kondratiev is playing at his peak. It's a very abstract thing to rate, and that's what makes doing these ratings and rankings so difficult. That's why I said I had a hard time fitting the new guys into the list, because the trick isn't to look at them now and compare Sauer's 2004-05 season with Baranka's but to play psychic and try to invision what role they will fill 10 years down the road.

In terms of tiers, we do indicate the league each player is in on the depth chart by colors (a handy improvement that we implemented in the past year).
Other then that, I think the "disclaimer" in the Top 20 article says it the best:
The Top 20 ranking is based on long-term impact on the hockey club and is not a reflection of who is closest to making the NHL. Players are assigned a grade per HF Criteria. Other factors that help determine ranking order to varying degrees include: player age, draft position, current league and team quality, location (North America or Europe) and foreseeable opportunity.
Balancing the leagues players are in, the teams the play on, where they are and the opportunity with the organization are all taken into account. There's many variables that need to be balanced and I would be lying if I said there was a specific formula, it's just after a while, you almost develop a knack for it.
I mean, yeah, development wise there is a huge difference between drafting a player from the CHL and another one from the college system. Especially given the new CBA.

In the end, HF's focus is on prospects making their way to the NHL. We simply do not have enough time or resources to track prospects making their way from league to league on their developmental journey. By keeping the big picture in mind, we're able to cover much more information.

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